As Independence Day draws near, I have a whole new freedom to celebrate. I’m moving into my very first very own place. I grew up in a family of five brothers and sisters. My home growing up was more like a war zone meets Barnum & Bailey’s than the Brady household. Ever since leaving the Millen Village, I’ve had roommates. Fabulous roommates, yes, but roommates nonetheless. They’ve left great memories; roommates are there when you get home from a dreadful day and need someone with whom you can split open a bottle of wine and commiserate. Okay, maybe not NEED, but it sure makes you look like less of a lush if you share.
Roommates can be compadres, confidants, partners-in-crime and virtual live-in shrinks. And above all, cheaper in-home entertainment than both cable or satellite. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, one of us has (allegedly) peed in the oven. We’ve danced on the bed to “Purple Rain.” We’ve fought over bundt cake. We’ve been robbed. We’ve had neighbors that wouldn’t leave for days at a time. We’ve stayed up late into the night singing the score from “Moulin Rouge.” We’ve warmed houses and destroyed carpets.
I’ve been lucky. My roommates have had double duties as friends. I’ve never really just had someone to squabble over which shelf in the fridge was theirs and who was the last one to buy the economy size package of toilet paper. I’ve never just split the bills, I’ve split a home.
But at the same time, I’ve always split something. And for the first time in my life, I’m moving into my very own place. It’s the cutest little townhome. Two stories, one bedroom, wood floors, plantation shutters. Oh, it’s just so quaint, I could curtsy. It’s fairly hard to find a two-story for a one bedroom and it’s very important. You know, for those times I feel like sliding down the stairs on my butt.
And with my very own apartment comes my very own furniture. No more mismatched college rejects and Great Aunt Nana hand-me-downs. Don’t get me wrong, brown and gold paisley is lovely for a living room, but it’s not me. Finally, I get a place that will serve as a tangible reflection of my personality. The first thing I did was go out and buy a red couch. I briefly considered something more Martha Stewart, but golden goddess is far more fitting than domestic goddess. I think I’ll accent that with a white velvet chaise lounge. And two Greco-roman gods in loincloths fanning me with palm leaves and feeding me grapes… Okay, maybe just one of those fancy white French style phones.
People will walk in and say “Heather Millen lives here!” Either that or “Elizabeth Taylor,” but I digress. It will be all mine. And I’m excited about all the silly little things. One of my favorite feelings in the world is bare feet on wood floors. Sure, it’s quirky, but I can’t wait to roll over on my queen-size pillow-top mattress (another first) and stretch in the morning, flinging my feet over the side of the bed and feeling the cool, smooth floors welcome me to my day. As for other simple pleasures, of course I’ll walk around stark naked when I’m getting ready for a ravenous night on the town. Thank God for plantation shutters.
So the next natural step (aside from picking up some toilet paper), is to begin planning my housewarming party. I’m thinking something classy, sassy and otherwise fantastic. Perhaps heavy hors d’ouevres, some cocktails, a bottle of champagne, and of course, a theme. There’s nothing like toasting a milestone. Life is full of them, and right now, this is mine. Sure, plenty of people my age are buying houses, but I’m quite content. That sounds suspiciously like commitment.
I still have a lot to acquire to give the place that certain je ne c’est quoi! Like a dining room table, a bedroom set, kitchen supplies… though God only knows what I would need that for. I already have a corkscrew and at least 12 wine glasses.
Having only spent a little over a day in my new humble abode, I’ve learned something about myself… I’m completely anal. Each time I track in leaves as I cart in the boxes, I immediately freak out and start sweeping. I don’t want anything to taint the newness of the place. And as the movers scraped the paint while moving in my freakishly large couch, I nearly jumped out of my skin. I’m sure I’ll get over it.
Standing in my near-barren living room, the entire place feels a little Holly Golightly already. I love it. All I need now is “Cat” and rich suitors willing to give me a $50 for the powder room.
I love the detail of the place. The smell of the fresh paint, the gentle curve of the stair banister. I love the way the blinds in the kitchen match the wallpaper. I love the trees outside my bedroom window. I love my new bed that’s fit for a princess. I literally have to “hop” into it. But most of all, I love that it’s all mine. I’ve been across the country and back. I’ve lived in a big city and had the beach as my front porch. But as I look around at the bare walls, I’m home. For a while anyway.
Heather has a penchant for drama, both personally and professionally. She secretly wishes people spoke in song and wholeheartedly believes that everyone deserves a standing ovation now and again. She finds it appalling that people reserve champagne only for special occasions, when champagne is clearly best on a Tuesday, while riding the subway, accompanying a slice of kick-ass pizza.
ABOUT HEATHER M. MILLEN
more about heather m. millen
IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
6.30.04 @ 12:17a
Brava! And best of luck in the new digs.
6.30.04 @ 11:47a
Well, good luck.
And remember, not splitting the cable bill sucks.
6.30.04 @ 11:51a
i just moved into a new place myself - congrats!
6.30.04 @ 12:09p
Maybe Lou Diamond has an extra $50 for ya!
6.30.04 @ 12:17p
I may just try that Mike. He's already picking up the bar tabs and you know how expensive that can get with people like me around!
6.30.04 @ 1:23p
Finally your own place! Now I can get those boas and leopard print stuff out of my house. Let's talk storage fees...
6.30.04 @ 1:33p
Just one leopard print item. ONE!
6.30.04 @ 2:05p
...and no home is complete without a boa (or 5)!
6.30.04 @ 2:12p
I'm sensing an identity crisis here. Are you Audrey Hepburn, Liz Taylor, Martha Stewart or Michael Jackson?
6.30.04 @ 2:13p
Not Audrey, darling, Holly Golightly. It's much more fun.
But as an Intrepidite, you should realize I'm forever and always your very own Penny Lane. (Accept no substitutions).
6.30.04 @ 2:14p
I hate Penny Lane. What a bad association for a great song.
6.30.04 @ 4:05p
I'm living by myself now too, and I absolutely love it. I couldn't be happier, except for when I realized that if I don't take out the garbage, no one else will. Even if it's really stinky.
6.30.04 @ 4:15p
If you wait long enough, Kona, it might take itself out. Badum cha!
7.1.04 @ 11:14a
Mike, just because you're forced to take yourself out that doesn't mean garbage works the same way.
Besides, one can solve the whole issue by installing an incinerator in the bathroom.
7.1.04 @ 1:23p
The bathroom is probably the only part of the place I don't love. It's too small. Last night at dinner I revealed plans to take the door off the bathroom. It was met with raised eyebrows and second glances.
7.1.04 @ 1:46p
Lou didn't like the idea?
7.1.04 @ 2:17p
7.1.04 @ 2:24p
I'm sure Lou would love it. Our very own Trey Askew, meanwhile, is not intending to visit.
7.1.04 @ 10:39p
Trust me, you want a door on the bathroom. I've been in places that don't have doors on bathrooms. You'll want one, if only to have somethign to slam when you get angry.
7.2.04 @ 10:21a
I agree leave the bathroom door on.Congrats on your own place.